Post # 1
I am an old bee who made up a new name because it had my ex-FI’s initials in it.
Anyway, long story short, I haven’t been on here in a while because I broke off my engagement about a year ago. It was a sudden and very traumatizing break-up, and I have been struggling with it more than I thought I would over the last year. I have used alcohol and sleeping around as coping mechanisms (I know, not smart). They obviously have not worked, because I have been screwing up at work and letting my anger out on people close to me, oftentimes saying some very hurtful things. I think the best word to describe “me” over the past year is distracted, which is normally unlike me. I am now very aware of how much I am still struggling mentally, although I wasn’t just a few months ago.
I now know I need to work through my struggles instead of pushing them into the back of my mind, so I have recently started seeing a therapist, and have been to two sessions so far. I am still not really sure of how the whole process works. I feel like I have just been talking a lot and the therapist just agrees with me or reaffirms or rewords what I have just said. It does feel good to talk about everything, but I want to get more out of the sessions.
My question to you all is, how do I make the most of these sessions? Any bees been to therapy before, what about your sessions was so helpful to you?
Post # 2
PinkCat: First off, I’m sorry for your pain. 🙁 I can’t really help with getting the most out of your session. When I was seeing my own therapist, he did the same thing. He would just agree with me, not really give any input on his own. For all I knew, he was doodling in a notebook. When I’d get antsy, he’d make eye contact and wait for me to continue, but I always felt like I was talking to myself.
I’m not sure if this is just what therapists do, or if there are different styles you could try for a better match with what you’re lookiing for.
Post # 3
PinkCat: Could just be that it’s not a good fit with this therapist. Might need to try out a few to find one that works for you. But you can also talk with your current one and find out if he/she is just trying to get a feel of the situation before guiding your or if this is his/her normal way of handling things.
Ask yourself, what are you looking for in a therapist. One who listens and lets you figure stuff out on your own or one who asks lots of questions or gives you homework.
Post # 4
There are different types of therapy and you can definitely ask your therapist what type of therapy s/he practices and how it works.
If you’re a very organized person whose insurance is footing the bill and you’re very goal-oriented I think you’d be better off looking for a cognitive behavioral therapist (CB therapist) who will structure your therapy in terms of a short number of sessions (<25) expected results, etc.
However, if you’re willing to try to be patient and wait the process out, what you’re describing sounds pretty standard for an existential, or psychodynamic, or humanistic, or somatic or pretty much anything that is not CBT or brief solution focused therapy. The first few sessions are basically used to gather enough information about you to come to a diagnosis, prognosis and treatment rough draft.
Just to be clear…all kinds of therapy work ok? The literature says that no kind is superior to another; however, the kind you’re taking MUST resonate with you for it to work. (Which is why research on the types of therapy to know which one might fit you best is always a good idea.) Talking, hitting a pillow, role playing, facing an empty chair, laying on a couch, making charts and graphs….they’re all created equal, but you must see what’s best for YOU.
Post # 5
Hmm I haven’t been to a therapist for my emotions but to work on my motivation/negativeness and shyness/confidence, and he basically let me talk and when my train of thought was going the wrong “way”, he would stop me and ask me qs and bring me back to the “right” way of thinking… He would also suggest me to write down what I remembered from the session after it and to think about the key points often until the next week. At first I didn’t think it was working, but with time I realized I had a very different mentality after the sessions than before and got to outperform myself at work which really helped my career!
So my case is very different from yours, but in the long run it worked for me! Maybe give it 2-3 weeks more and see how it goes? Maybe during the first few sessions the therapist is trying to get to know you and your needs better? One thing is sure though, you are strong cause you realized you needed help and you went and got it!! that’s a very good sign that you will get better in time! Keep going forward the way you are and great things will come to you! : )
Post # 6
PinkCat: when I went through therapy following a breakup, I did a number of different things. I think you have to try and look inward and find out what you’re looking to achieve. Are you just needing help to move on? Were there issues in terms of abuse? Addiction?
I personally was in a very dysfunctional relationship for about ten years. It was my first one (we were just teenagers when we started dating), and it just shattered my life when it ended. Even though I tried, I just wasn’t the person that I knew, and it was scary. Anyway, there were a number of issues ranging from abuse to addiction, and following the breakup not only did I suffer from depression, but I kept ending up with men who also had addictions (some were in treatment).
Needless to say, I started attending 12 step meetings for a number of things including codependents anonymous, I saw a therapist once every few weeks, and I did inner child therapy in a group setting. It took years but I knew that there was something that kept attracting addicts and individuals like my first guy, and so I did whatever I could to get my mind and emotional state into a good place.
Maybe you need something different, even in addition to, the therapist you’re seeing?
Good luck, and I hope that you find your way. Sometimes it can be so hard to find yourself and start really living again.
Post # 7
This, exactly. Your current therapist may just not be a good fit for you. The choice of therapists is an important one, so there is nothing wrong with shopping around.
Post # 8
There are different types of therapists. It sounds like you are looking for strategies to stop becoming reactive to your negative emotions. That’s a good thing to keep in mind!
with that being said, maybe look for another therapist. i had one once who just made me talk all the time and seemed fairly critical towards my life. It made me even more anxious! So then I was referred by my doctor to another therapist, she was actually a Social Worker, and she helped me change how I think and feel about myself, and how I react to things in my life.
Having the right therapist makes a huge difference in your progress! Don’t be scared to try new things 🙂